News / Middle East

    Support Plummets for Egypt's Morsi

    Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, Egypt, June 19, 2013.
    Egyptians chant slogans during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president and his Muslim Brotherhood in Luxor, Egypt, June 19, 2013.
    Mohamed Elshinnawi
    A year after being elected president and almost three years since Egypt was rocked by the Arab Spring uprisings, Mohamed Morsi is increasingly in trouble with the nation’s electorate and, possibly, its military.

    When Morsi took office last year, his public approval rating stood at 57 percent, with most saying he and his Muslim Brotherhood party were “a positive development.”

    But with the economy in shambles and the electorate increasingly wary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s intentions, a new public opinion poll conducted by Zogby Research Services (ZRS) now rates Morsi’s approval at 28 percent.

    Even the general Morsi appointed as defense minister and army chief is warning that the military may have to intervene if the government and its opponents can’t reconcile their differences before massive anti-government demonstrations scheduled next Sunday
    .
    The Zogby poll gauged the opinions of 5,029 Egyptian adults between April 4th and May 12th, 2013.  It concluded that almost all of the 28 percent voicing approval for Morsi were identified with his Muslim Brotherhood party or other Islamists like the Al Nour Salafi party.

    Significantly, the poll indicated more than 70 percent of the electorate are now concerned that "the Muslim Brotherhood is keen to Islamize the state and control its executive powers."

    Muslim Brotherhood seen as overreaching

    But the polling also showed that the public considers Egypt’s political opposition groups such as the National Salvation Front and the April 6th Movement splintered and poorly organized. Even when considered together, the opposition could claim the confidence of only 35 percent of the adult population, while 40 percent of the electorate appeared to have no confidence in either the government or any of the opposition parties.

    The poll also looked at who might step in as president if Morsi falters and gauged the popularity of nine potential leaders, including all those who head major parties or who ran for president against Morsi. None were viewed as credible by more than a third of the electorate.

    The only person showing significant support was Bassem Yousef, a popular TV satirist who has been charged by the government with insulting the presidency and Islam.

    But the most remarkable number in the polling by far was the 94 percent approval rating given the army, which won strong support from all sectors and parties. Those who supported opposition parties and Egypt's so-called “silent majority” also indicated they would like to see the army play a larger role in society.

    Few were surprised then when General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the army chief who also serves as defense minister, warned over the weekend that the military was prepared to step in if liberal and Islamist supporters clash violently in next Sunday’s scheduled demonstrations.
       
    El-Sissi said the military would then be obligated to intervene to prevent Egypt from plunging into “a dark tunnel.”

    “Egypt is in crisis,” concluded pollster James Zogby. “The economy is in shambles with no clear direction, rights are being eroded, and a minority-supported party controls the power over a deeply fractured polity.”

    What is next in Egypt?

    But Zogby and other experts on Egypt say Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, with its superior organizational abilities, will remain hard to challenge politically.

    FILE - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, July 13, 2012.FILE - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, July 13, 2012.
    x
    FILE - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, July 13, 2012.
    FILE - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, July 13, 2012.
    “The movement (the Brotherhood) doesn't need to be popular if it continues its ability to rally its followers around a cause and to the ballot box,” said Zogby. “Until the opposition builds an organization that can compete, the Islamists could remain on top.”

    One unknown factor in this equation is the so-called Tamarrod (rebel) movement, which says it has collected 15 million signatures on a petition voicing "no confidence" in Morsi, who won the presidency with 13 million votes. The petition campaign has accused the Morsi administration of "failing to implement promised policies that improve the life of ordinary people."

    The Zogby poll also looked asked about potential support for new parliamentary elections, an idea put forward by the Islamic parties. But Zogby’s polling indicated the idea is rejected by most other Egyptians, with a substantial majority saying that they do not believe new elections would be fair or transparent. The opposition, and a majority of the electorate, strongly favors drawing up a new constitution, an idea is rejected by supporters of the main Islamic parties.

    The only proposal that receives near unanimous support from all groups is the convening of "a real national dialogue,” though how this could be carried out and what it could achieve remain vague.

    Is there a role for the U.S.?

    Though many believe the Tamarrod movement could spark the kind of government-changing events of the Arab Spring in 2011, few are convinced events would develop in the same way again.

    “The Obama administration is not expected to repeat its support for another popular uprising,” said Zogby, “but rather might call for continued efforts to build the democratic institutions and conduct parliamentary elections.”

    Marina Ottaway, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, argues that the only thing the U.S. can do is to encourage Egypt’s secular opposition to organize and be ready to achieve better showing in any new parliamentary elections.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ahmed Medhat Fahmy. from: central coast California.
    June 24, 2013 7:10 PM
    I'm sorry to inform you that the numbers you speak of and statistics are false. A big portion of the eligible voters inEgypt and abroad boycotted the elections when they were given the American version of democratic elections ( THE BEST OF 2 EVILS ) ! Having an exe air force man from Mobarak's regime and the muslim brotherhood as the top candidates was not what the demand of the revolution were. It was rather the counter revolution and the back up plan to counter the arab spring in action. Did you think Egyptians ever approved being ruled by backwards fundamentalists ?! Do you still believe everything your government sources tell you. When is journalism in the west going to break the chains of propaganda and absolute obedience ?! Egypt was given the brotherhood as punishment for embarrassing the old regime and the military that backed it. It was a a very well planned passive agressive response to the revolution. A terror and pacification tactic till they came up with a plan for damage control.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.